How to become an FFII KWiki editor
The write-access for several pages on the http://kwiki.ffii.org website is now restricted. You now need to log in. We tell you how.
The User Perspective
You are always free to create a new kwiki page by just typing its address in your browser.
However, after a while, this page may become write-protected. You can then access it only with a qualified ffii user id and password.
This is because wiki-spammers have been abusing kwiki to boost their google ranking.
There are three ways to obtain a qualified ffii user id.
register in http://aktiv.ffii.org/ as an active member of FFII
write to buero at ffii org and ask for kwiki write access (there is one catch to this, if you change your aktiv password, at the moment, as of 10 March 2005, your editor password still remains the old one - so if you have forgotten your aktiv password first have a new password sent to you by asking for it in aktiv.ffii.org and then ask buero - if that is not possible either ask buero anyway ... ;))
You should however at least have an ffii user id with a fully disclosed postal address and phone number, even if you don't become an active member.
We may in the future loosen write-access to kwiki again as soon as we have found other viable ways of containing the wiki spam problem.
The Administrator Perspective
The user:password files are created by the ffiiuidpass script, invoked from aktiv2kwiki every night. For Kwiki, the file /var/www/adm/auth_asolvl3 is used.
Input comes alternatively from the
ffii database: users with asoc.asolvl > 2 (active users) have access by default
- hand-edited files in the /var/www/adm directory
- auth_extra: these users have access at all levels
- auth_extra3: these users have access at level 3
To put someone's user and password into auth_extra, ask for that person's ffii user id. All user ids of the database can be found in auth_asolvl0. Just copy the concerned line from there. It might be sensible to briefly explain in auth_changelog when and why you did it.
Why by default only for active members?
The system becomes bloated and slow when the password files are big. They must reside in memory or be searched in linear (line by line) fashion. The current user:password file already contains nearly 200 records.
The entry barrier for FFII is very low. Membership fees are below 20 eur per year. If someone wants to spend some time help maintain a page in our documentation, he is likely to qualify as an "active member". Yet there are far many more people who merely morally support us but do not have the time to maintain kwiki pages. Thus setting the default threshhold at asolvl > 2 and having manual addition procedures for the others is probably a reasonable procedure.
How do pages become write-protected?
The procedure could be further improved by transferring the auth_extra information into the database. An extra table with a boolean field "I wish to edit kwiki" and a comment field plus a boolean field for administrator approval could do it. This could then also be edited via http:aktiv.ffii.org. Btw we also need an approval field for membership levels. Apart from this, the information as to whether someone is legally a member (has paid his fees etc) is also not well maintained yet.
- We may need some anonymous accounts. In the current system everybody is identified. This eliminates not only wiki spammers but also blocks direct participation for anonymized informants.